The official source of information on this topic is the Parking and Transportation Office. Please see summary information for postdocs below. For details on these and other commuting programs, and for area shuttle information, see the MIT Department of Facilities website and visit the office.
Many postdocs choose housing near public transportation, particularly the “red line” of the “T” (MBTA subway). MIT subsidizes certain transportation costs for employees, including Postdoctoral Associates. The Vice President for Research Office has ensured that Postdoctoral Fellows also have access to many transportation benefits. See details below.
Access MIT Pass program:
All Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Associates on MIT’s Cambridge campus are now eligible for free, unrestricted subway and local bus access. MIT is providing MIT ID cards with a special MBTA* chip inside that will provide this access. (*Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority). For most eligible populations, MIT began issuing the new ID on June 21, 2016. Postdoctoral Fellows became eligible on August 9, 2016 (or may have earlier if they were receiving some MIT salary).
Postdocs who received an MIT ID card on or after those dates (either new or a “swapped out” ID) should see Charlie INSIDE!” written on the back of the card, and should be all set. If not, they may visit the Card Office (Building E17-106 at 40 Ames St) with their current MIT ID card to swap it for one with the MBTA chip inside. The Card Office is open between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Note that the Parking and Transportation Office’s online information may not yet be fully up to date.
Additional information from the Parking & Transportation Office:
- Individuals with any type of Commuter Rail Pass, Boat, Inner or Outer Express Bus will continue to use their current pass and are not swapping out IDs.
- It is not possible to use the Bicycle Commuter Benefit program and the Access MIT Pass program at the same time, because of IRS (tax) regulations. See details further below.
- MIT provides a subsidized membership to Hubway, the bicycle rental program. See the Hubway instructions. If you are a Postdoctoral Fellow with no MIT pay, please see separate Postdoctoral Fellow instructions.
- There is also a Bicycle Commuter Benefit for those who are not enrolled in another MIT commuting benefit program (e.g. Access MIT Pass program) and who otherwise qualify. The Parking & Transportation Office can provide details and assist those choosing the Bicycle Commuter Program for the year or any particular months. Postdoctoral Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows receiving some MIT pay may be eligible. (If you are Postdoctoral Fellow without any MIT pay, speak with your key administrative contact for postdocs about possible assistance from the department.)
Parking: Parking on campus is very limited, and your unit headquarters can tell you whether or not it is an option for you.
Zipcars: MIT sponsored Zipcar membership (for car rental) is available to all MIT postdocs, using an MIT email address.
Other: The International Scholars Office has helpful information about Boston's Public Transportation System and Massachusetts Driver's Licenses, Identification Cards, and Cars.